Sun, Jan 11, 2009 - Page 14 News List

Book Review: Manu Chao’s Colombian tour

Forget flak jackets, when singer Manu Chao toured Columbia by train he took fire-breathing dragons, an ice museum and his journalist father to record it all

By Duncan Campbell  /  THE GUARDIAN , LONDON

The 1993 tour did, in the end, split the band, some of whom departed before the final concerts. Manu returned to Paris disheartened, and went on to form his new band, Radio Bemba. He nearly recruited a new band member in Colombia — a street kid, Rondelle, who could sing and dance brilliantly.

The Latin-American connection continues. Manu’s new single, La Vida Tombola, is featured in Maradona, a documentary about the Argentine footballer, about to be released on digital download. Father and son have an enduring involvement in Radio La Colifata, which translates as “Radio Loony,” and broadcasts live from a mental hospital in Buenos Aires. Manu will be appearing on the radio station again this year, perhaps recounting the tale of that train of ice and fire.

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